Archive for November 2009

Keeping it in Portion Perspective

By Jeff, H3 Program Intern

When we finally come to that final motivation to embark on lasting lifestyle changes, many of us get into that mindset: “This is it, go big or go home this time.” What a fitting phrase right? However, this is where it gets a little shady because when it comes to nutrition we’ve go to stop applying that same principle. In this respect, bigger is never better and our environment is certainly not helping any.


Why is it, when we are out and about, in an airport or at a restaurant, the portion sizes become outrageously enormous? Mammoth muffins, bountiful bagels, plethora pizza slices – it’s unreal on how today’s portion sizes stack up to twenty year’s ago. Let’s put the past in perspective:  


  20 Years Ago Calories Today Calories
Bagel 3” inches 140 6” inches 350
Muffin 1.5 oz. 210 4 oz. 500
Pizza 2 slices 500 2 large slices 850


Obviously, we all just finished up a great portion controlled Thanksgiving, yet this is still an ideal time to update our perspective. With the holiday season almost in full-gear, there’s definitely going to be plenty more sweets on the horizon. It may not be the pumpkin pies this time, but various treats will be readily available and it’s not always easy to measure the exact portion size. Going along with our portion control theme, here are a few visualization techniques for understanding correct portions specific to several common holiday goodies.


– One square brownie should equal about one package of dental floss

– One slice of cake should equal a deck of cards

– One cinnamon roll should equal the size of a hockey puck

– One ounce of holiday candies should easily fit into the palm of your hand 

– One cup of cocoa equals eight ounces

– One cookie should equal roughly two poker chips

– One ½ cup ice cream should equal the size of a light bulb


Nobody wants to spend the holiday’s completely zoning out every treat, therefore by understanding what constitutes “a portion” we can help control the weight. In our H3 portion control class many guest learn the fundamental tips for managing portions. Today, I’ll just give you the top three and hope that the past comparisons and dessert portion visualizations guide you the rest of the way!


Top Tip #1:      Re-engineer your home

–          “Out of Sight, Out of Mind”

–          Buy snacks in single serve

–          Keep variety to a minimum


Top Tip #2:      Recognize the difference between a portion and a serving

–          Read all the labels

–          Refer to the H3 food pyramid


Top Tip #3       Eat more slowly and mindfully

–          Food will be coming at you left and right so take it easy

–          20 minute rule: Stop, Take a breath, Observe, Proceed



10 Turkey Trotters: H3 Family Affair

By Jeff, H3 Program Intern

Another Thanksgiving gone and past, yet we were all thankful Turkey day began with a blast!! From H3, Ten turkey trotters set out on a mission and without a doubt represented how to have a little fitness fun before the feast. Not only did each and everyone finish, but every single guest or employee jogged part of the way. A few even completed the 10K race, which is no small feat – roughly 6.2 miles burning over 700 calories, man can’t beat that!


The 21st Annual Piggly Wiggly Turkey Trot has been run and power-walked by many in the past, however more than 1,300 runners crawled out of bed this year. The day articulated the mental aspect of health and fitness, amplifying the fact that it’s all about showing up and whatever anyone puts their minds to they can and will accomplish it.


For several, the 5K Trot was the first they had ever encountered and was an experience that will undoubtedly never be forgotten. It’s important to mention that participating in the race as an H3 family made everyone motivate one another and the drive to succeed was faster than ever. This was another link to the chain in creating lifestyle changes and will certainly provide inspiration for future improvements. Above all, we snapped some memorable shots and who could forget receiving the super sweet turkey trot long sleeve tees! Check out a couple of the H3 Trotters:

 Turkey Trot R

Some may think we weren’t with our families on this day, but I beg to differ. As past Guests have mentioned, Hilton Head Health’s atmosphere gives off that home away from home feeling, and you truly become apart of the H3 family within days of your stay. The dining hall was spectacularly set up, the feast was fantastically healthy, and the best part was sharing the day with the entire in-house H3 family. Who would have known we were away from home?


Anyhow, Thanksgiving at Hilton Head Health was to say the least a family affair and to prove it here are a few of our guest’s thankful thoughts:

  • “To be here today”
  • “For sunshine!”
  • “To be apart of the H3 Family”
  • “For my health”
  • “For H3 and all I’ve learned”
  • “For a week away to myself”
  • “For all the friends I’ve acquired over the years”
  • “For new found energy!”


Give Thanks for a Healthy Holiday


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  A time to give thanks for everything in our lives – family, friends, your children, your job, your health – and most importantly the food.  The beginning of a holiday season focused on celebration in the form of sweet eats and comfort foods. 

Worried about overdoing yourself at Thanksgiving dinner?  Set a few goals and you will be sure to walk away from the table a success. 


~ Set a realistic weight loss goal for the holiday season: aim to maintain your weight rather than lose weight. 

~ Focus on the conversation and the company rather than the food.  Besides, laughter feels so much better than having to loosen your belt!

~ Skip the high-fat foods you can get any time (e.g., nuts, cheese, chips) so you can enjoy a small amount of the truly special foods that are only available once a year (like your mom’s homemade sweet potato casserole!)

~ Put some distance between yourself and the food table.  Also, when finished eating, remove yourself from lingering at the dinner table and/or kitchen.  Gather your family for a fun game or take a brisk walk outdoors, which will take your mind off of mind-less eating!

~ Make sure to eat breakfast!  Don’t try to ‘bank’ your calories by skipping the most important meal of the day.  Eat a balanced breakfast with whole grains, dairy and fruit.  A warm bowl of oatmeal topped with berries will definitely hold your appetite until the main event!

~ Limit your alcohol intake. Eat before you drink.  Enjoy a nice glass of red or white wine with your meal, not the whole bottle.


Lastly, and if you do end up feeling a little stuffed, keep it in perspective.  If you get right back on track at your next meal, you haven’t done much damage.  If you wait until Monday to start over, the extra calories may add up to a few pounds.  Plus – Friday make a date to walk off the calories at mall and snag all of the great Black Friday deals!  (Plus, don’t miss out on ours!)



Healthy Hydration

By Jeff, H3 Program Intern

WATER you up to today?  Does it involve a little healthy hydration?  Hope so because staying hydrated and consuming the appropriate amount of water should always be on the agenda. 

What’s interesting is that our bodies are made up of over 60% water!  Not only does H2O flush out toxins harmful to our organs, but it also carries essential nutrients to keep our body’s cells in premium working condition.  What’s more, when it comes to weight management, filling up on fluids can help control hunger and may even slightly increase metabolism in the short term.

On that note, you are probably already tapping for the tap water, yet after this blog I’m sure to have you up out of your chair well on your way to the restroom. With that said here’s the how to on healthy hydration and the benefits behind it!  


Start with the 8×8 Rule.  Most general guidelines recommend drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day so this is a good place to start.

Purchase a BPA free water bottle.  Having a close container nearby will certainly keep you company and reaching for further fluids. Why BPA free? Well, BPA is a plastic used in the lining of containers, CDs, DVDs, sports equipment and thousands of other products.  The problem here is that oodles of new research have sprung about in regards to its safety.  BPA has been linked to breast cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease, hyperactivity and many other negative health conditions.  Although not completely proven, we may as well avoid our exposure while hydrating!

Before, during and after.  When it comes to hydration your body tends to have a mind of it’s own, and more often than not it won’t signal for immediate H2O replacement.  A good rule of thumb for dehydration prevention in short bouts of exercise is to roughly replenish with 12 to 24 more ounces of water.  Although, exercise lasting longer than an hour will require even more based off your body weight and how much you sweat.

Live off fruits and veggies.  Refilling the water jug is not the only way to boost the H2O balance.  According to many sports medicine specialists 30 to 40 percent of our water intake comes from nutrient rich foods.  Watermelon and other fruits/veggies are anywhere from 50 to 90% water!

So that’s all well and good, but WATER the benefits?

Every system in the body depends on it.  By consuming appropriate amounts you’ll be keeping your body at optimal health. Proper hydration reduces the chances of kidney stones, keeps joints lubricated, prevents constipation, and even lessens the relentlessness of colds and flu.

Lack of water leads to dehydration.  This is when feelings of tiredness and fatigue tend to set in. Lightheadedness, headaches, little or no urination and dry mouth are the tell tale signs that it’s time to re-hydrate.

Supplies feelings of fulfillment.  Although this is not a lasting effect, it’s certainly a great accompaniment for every meal.  Drinking a glass of water with every meal will help curb the appetite and helps us from not overeating.

May increase metabolism.  Larger studies are obviously needed yet, in a study done by Michael Boschmann, MD, and colleagues from Berlin’s Franz-Volhard Clinical Research Center:

“After subjects drank approximately 17 ounces of water, the subjects’ metabolic rates — or the rate at which calories are burned — increased by 30% for both men and women. The increases occurred within 10 minutes of water consumption and reached a maximum after about 30 to 40 minutes.”


That’s just four fluid essentials along with four fantastic fluid benefits.  Anyhow, that should get ya’ll going towards healthier hydration.  



Mayo Clinic Staff, Water: How much should you drink every day?


Boyles, Salynn, WebMD Staff Drinking Water May Speed Weight Loss: Metabolic Rate Increases Slightly With Water Consumption



Time to Train: Turkey or Trot?

By Jeff, H3 Program Intern

At this point in our lives, most of us have already had some training on how to delve into a delicious Thanksgiving turkey; however maybe this year we train to trot!  No matter what part of the country you live in there’s a Turkey Trot nearby.  What’s a Turkey Trot, you may ask?   Well simply, it’s the fitness before the feast.

What’s great about these holiday races is that they really help us stay on track during one of the most caloric days of the year.  Also, most race entrance fees are intended to benefit a local charity and participants usually get a sweet T-Shirt versus a sweet potato pie!  Races are usually held early in the morning so there’s still time to gather Grandma and group around the gravy.

Turkey Trot

So partaking in a Turkey Trot sounds all well and good, but there’s no way I could possibly run 3.1 miles! The good news is you don’t have to. Every 5K or trot offers all levels of runners or power walkers an opportunity to foster some fun. Participating in any capacity is incredibly enjoyable. For beginning trotters it is perfectly acceptable to jog a little of the race, walk a little at a brisk pace, or even walk the entire race. This year’s trot can really serve as a starting point, but most importantly motivate us to improve even more the next time we enter the traditional road race.

What is even more amazing about completing a 5K is that no matter your fitness level there is always room for improvements. Like I mentioned earlier, this could be the moment that kick starts your training and inspires you to keep improving on your current 5K pace. Since I am thankful to be a runner, here are a few tips on starting out and a training plan that will certainly build up your aerobic base so you can translate a steady walk into a light jog for that next 5K.  

Forget about speed.  Increasing duration is the first priority as beginners is key.

Listen to your body.  Jogging or walking should never be painful. Take a day off if there are pains or you are extremely fatigued.

Ease into a routine. Don’t go all out right away – it is important to build-up before.

Keep track.  Have a plan day in and day out – simply highlighting that you’ve completed a workout for the day is a big motivator!

It’s all about completing the first one.  For your first 5K just completing the 3.1 mile trek is a great accomplishment.  After that, challenge yourself with some new goals!


Completing the 5K: Beginners Jog/Walk Schedule

Week Sun. Mon. Tue. Wed. Thurs. Fri. Sat. Total
1 W20 Rest W10 Rest W15 Rest W10 W55
2 W25 Rest W15 Rest W20 Rest W15 W75
3 W30 Rest W20 Rest W25 Rest W20 W95
4 W40 Rest W30 Rest W30 Rest W30 W130
5 W20 Rest W10 Rest W20 Rest W15 W65 light week
6 J10


Rest J5


Rest J10


Rest J5




7 J15


Rest J10


Rest J15


Rest J10




8 J20


Rest J10


Rest J15


Rest J15




9 J25


Rest J15


Rest J20


Rest J15




10 5K Race Day! Rest J15


Rest J15




Rest J30



W = Walk; J = Jog; # = Minutes 

At Hilton Head Health, we are all geared up to be participating in the 21st Annual Piggly Wiggly Turkey Trot at the North End of Island.  Many Guests and Staff will be taking part on Thanksgiving and we cannot wait for the day to come.  I hope each of you consider the trot before the turkey this year, if not set it as a new goal for next Thanksgiving! I only wish I had written this blog a little sooner so you guys could have gobbled up the information.



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